Category Archives: Auburn Civitan News

Dr. Betsy Jordan, Citizen of the Year

At the annual Awards Banquet in October, Dr. Elizabeth Willis Jordan was honored as the 2019 Auburn Civitan Club Citizen of the Year.

Dr. Jordan of Auburn, better known as Betsy, has devoted a lifetime to helping others, especially youth in the Auburn–Opelika area. She is a native of St. Petersburg, Florida, has three degrees from Auburn University including the DVM, and practiced veterinary medicine in Florida. She returned to her alma mater in 1995 and worked for six years in the AU College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her husband, Scott, have two teenage daughters, Elizabeth and Emmalee.

Betsy is a Master Gardener volunteer and has given back countless hours of community volunteer work. She helped establish a Junior 4–H Club at Richland Road Elementary School and was instrumental in getting donations to create a large, outdoor raised bed teaching garden for the school. She was the force behind the creation of the History Seekers 4–H Club. For more than eight years as an adult volunteer 4–H leader, she has guided this group of young people and their parents through award–winning projects that range from the 4–H Chick Chain program to public speaking, storytelling, photography, gardening, pioneer life, and a unique sweet potato project that has raised more than $7,400 for the local Community Market and donated hundreds of volunteer hours for the Market. Betsy has been the organizer, director, coordinator, and chief executive officer for one of the most unique 4–H projects in the state for the past three years, the Back in Time holiday dinner theater celebrating Alabama’s Centennial. Proceeds from the event are donated to the Lee County Historical Society. As a community leader, she has recruited volunteers, donations, inspiration, and enthusiasm to make this a community event with focus on the young people.

Awards Banquet Celebrates a Fine Year

At our annual Awards Banquet at Venditori’s Restaurant in Auburn we celebrated another fine year.

The Club recognized President Joe Liddy for his great leadership throughout the year. As usual, the Club was active in many service projects and fundraisers and Joe inspired us with his enthusiasm and energy.

The Civitan of the Year award went to Billy Kennedy, recognizing his active participation in Civitan projects throughout the year. Billy chaired the Candy Box project that benefits children with disabilities and also represented our Club on the District Board.

Laurel Hendrix and Tammy Roppel were recognized for their work as treasurer and secretary, respectively. Keeping track of Civitans requires constant attention!

The Club recognized Dr. Betsy Jordan of Auburn as its 2019 Citizen of the Year. Her work with 4-H projects, the Lee County Community Market, and the Lee County Historical Society has had a great impact in our community.

Helen Brown Feb. 26, 1919 – Mar. 17, 2019

Helen BrownDear friends,

It saddens me to inform you that the Auburn Civitan Club has lost a truly valuable and inspirational member this week. Helen Brown passed at 100 years old March 17. She was a vital and caring person to the end. Please find her club accomplishments and obituary below:

Auburn Civitan Club member since 1985.

Auburn Civitan of the Year, 2013.

Auburn Civitan Club President 1999-2000.

Board member and chaplain for many years.

Civitan International Research Fellow.

Civitan International Medallion Member (received the 25 Years Award in 2010).

A leader and participant in many, many Auburn Civitan Club service projects and activities.

Helen has been a Civitan LIFE member since 2010.
Thank you,
Joe Liddy
Auburn Civitan Club

Helen Augusta Weaver Brown was born on February 26, 1919, to Grady Michael and Bessie Dunston Weaver, and passed away peacefully in her home on March 17, 2019, at 100 years of age. She grew up in Gadsden, Alabama, and later attended the University of Montevallo and Auburn University. Helen taught for 29 years at Auburn University as an Assistant Professor in Vocational and Adult Education, where she received the College of Education’s Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty Award.

Helen’s family is most proud of her tireless efforts to serve her church and her community. She was active in the ministries of the Methodist Churches in Gadsden and Montevallo, and in the First Baptist Churches of Tuskegee and Auburn.

Helen led the Jail Ministry of Auburn First Baptist Church, now named the Helen W. Brown Jail Ministry, for 30 years. Each Thursday, she met with inmates to lead them in Bible study, prayer, and music, and to assure them of God’s unconditional love for them.  The jail’s library is now named the Helen Brown Library in her honor. Other recognition of the Jail Ministry came from Prison Fellowship and from the Alabama State Senate. In addition to her work at the Lee County Jail, Helen served Auburn First Baptist through her work with the Mary Martha Sunday School Class, which she taught for 52 years, her service as a Lifetime Deacon, and her work on countless church committees.

Helen also contributed to the community through her work with Civitan, and was recognized a number of times as Civitan of the Year. Helen received Civitan’s highest honor, Civitan International’s Civitan Research Center Fellow award in recognition of her extraordinary leadership and community service. In addition, she received three community service awards through the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, and the National Society of DAR recognized her work through their national achievement award for outstanding community service.

Helen loved her friends, and established close relationships with many in the community. She attended the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University, rarely missing a seminar for 28 years. She enjoyed her Wednesday Bridge Club, her friends in the Village Friends organization, and her work with the Hospital Auxiliary. The Women’s Club recently awarded Helen “Life Member” status, the highest honor bestowed by the club on a member.

Helen was preceded in death by her loving husband, Tom Conner Brown, her parents Grady Michael and Bessie Dunston Weaver, and her two sisters, Ruth Weaver Heller and Bettye Weaver Thompson.

Helen’s daily presence will be greatly missed by her three children, Helen Virginia Brown Radford (Richard), Martha Brown League (Roger), and Tom Conner Brown (Judie), her 13 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, six great-great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Each one has benefitted from her love and presence in their lives, and from the outstanding example of service and Christian love that she demonstrated through her constant work for others.

Helen always thought it would be great to make it to 100 years. Helen, you did it! More than the years, though, you were much loved by so many people whose lives you touched. Well done.

Helen Brown Celebrates 100 Years!

Helen Brown

Helen Brown

Helen Brown celebrated her 100th birthday at her church, the First Baptist Church of Auburn, on February 17, 2019. Her birthday is actually February 26, but we couldn’t wait.

Helen has been an active member of the Auburn Civitan Club since 1985, serving as President, Board member, Chaplain, and chair and member of just about every civic and service project the Club has.

Helen has received a number of Civitan awards over the years, including Auburn Civitan of the Year, Civitan International Research Fellow, and Medallion Member (she received her 25 Years Award in 2010).

2018 Awards Banquet

Mighty Civitans receive awards, Civitan of the Year, Citizen of the Year, and new officers inducted.

Bryan Chin and Nathan Waters

Bryan Chin (l), Awards Chair, recognizes Nathan Waters (r), Outgoing President.



Tammy Roppel recognized for service as Secretary









Laurel Hendrix recognized for service as Treasurer




Joe Liddy, Civitan of the Year




Matt Crawford, Citizen of the Year


Governor-elect Jerry Lavert



    Governor-elect Jerry Lavert inducts 2018-19 officers. Standing (l to r) Billy Kennedy, Sandy Lovvorn, Laurel Hendrix, Tammy Roppel, Kirk Iversen, Joe Liddy, Nathan Waters.


Governor-elect Jerry Lavert inducts new member Matt Crawford.


Helen Brown, Civitan International Fellow


President Nathan Waters (l) and Helen Brown (r)

Helen Brown was honored on February 20, 2018, for her dedicated work as an Auburn Civitan for over 33 years (and still counting).

Helen was awarded the Civitan International Research Fellowship, an endowment that provides scholarships, fellowships, and grants for scientists at the Civitan International Research Center.

Auburn Civitans Support Freeze Off

The Civitans were at Town Creek Park on Saturday, July 29, to support the first–ever Freeze Off. This program was organized to promote Auburn Parks and Rec. programs and to raise funds to build an ADA-approved playground at the Park.

A number of groups and individuals sponsored the event, provided home-made ice cream, and volunteered to help. The kids (and parents!) ate a lot of ice cream and did a fun run. Civitans helped service Charlie’s home-made ice cream, register attendees, and direct traffic.

Charlie’s ice cream was a great butter pecan and won the People’s Choice award for best ice cream! Well done, Charlie! More importantly, a good start was made on building support for the planned playground.

Auburn Bike Bash

BashPictureThe annual Auburn Bike Bash took place at Bailey Park on April 23, 2016. Over 150 riders rode their choices of 3–, 10– and 18– mile routes and had a lot of fun activities at the Park. Including volunteers and sponsors, about 300 folks took part in this year’s Bash.

The Auburn Civitan Club is a major sponsor of the Bash and many members helped out this year as traffic marshals and helping with registration tables and kids’ activities.